By H Petrushkin • August 20, 2008•Choosing a Career and Landing a Job
What is it about OCI that makes me question my chosen profession? Is it that my normally pleasant classmates turn into back-biting sycophants? Is it that some legal "professionals" choose to treat us as if we were nothing more than displayed pieces of meat? Two painful OCI stories that made me cringe when I heard them:
A good friend of mine went to early OCI last week and had a harrowing tale to share with me about her experience with Big Firm. Friend had some contact with Big Firm during her 1L year and approached a young associate at the OCI venue. They chatted for a few minutes and Friend mentioned that she didn't have an interview scheduled with them, but she hoped they may make time to speak with her. The young associate said she'd check, and took Friend's resume to the partners standing about 5 feet away. They huddled around her resume briefly, and then the partners dispersed, leaving young associate alone with Friend. Without a word to Friend, young associate walked around the table that separated them, moved past Friend and out the door. Friend, understandably confused, was forced to follow young associate through the door to catch up with her. When Friend did catch up with her, she asked if Big Firm would be able to see her that day. Young associate said condescendingly, "Uh, no. We won't be meeting with you." Ouch!!!
Early OCI was held offsite at a hotel this year. Another very good friend (VGF) was in the middle of an interview with a different firm when a housekeeper entered the room and began cleaning and emptying trash. The partner turned to the associate and asked if she could "do something about this." VGF said that there was no need, she wasn't distracted and there would be no problem continuing the interview. When they were finished, VGF exited into the hall where two fellow students were waiting for their interview and snickering at her. Nonplussed, she walked by them with her head held high and called them a couple of very choice names. Later, after telling me all this, she asks, "How hard would it have been to stop the housekeeper before she went inside and tell her there was an interview going on?" So, these two gentlemen (and I use the term loosely) stood quietly by in an attempt to sabotage her interview?!? How low.
Back to my original question: is this how legal professionals (current & wannabe) behave? I understand the perils of judging a whole group by the actions of a few, but from the stories I've been told and overheard, these weren't isolated incidents of cruelty. Is there an alternative to this dehumanizing, meat market experience? For my own sake, I sure hope there is...